Metal Roofing:
Pros and Cons

Sheet metal roofing is gaining in popularity for a number of "green" reasons. It is becoming more and more mainstream because of a number of primary benefits. It is:
  • Durable
  • Fire resistant
  • Lightweight (requires less support and structural members)
  • Can be installed quickly
  • Reflects heat radiation from the sun
  • High wind/tear resistance
  • Recyclable
  • Long life (some are guaranteed for the lifetime of the home)
  • Cost competitive
  • Can be installed over existing roof, (saving labor costs and not polluting landfills or the environment)
  • Variety of colors, styles and costs available
  • Non-polluting
  • Well tolerated by sensitive people
  • Can be ordered custom cut to the proper length
  • Paint is usually warranted for an extended time period (can be repainted)
  • Easily removed

Are there any drawbacks to these products?
Here are a few things you'll want to consider:

  • Care must be taken while moving and installing - it can be scratched
  • Can be noisy - many people love the pitter-patter of rain on a "tin" roof, but stronger rain, hail, and acorns can be irritatingly loud without sufficient insulation
  • Possible hail damage (denting) if the metal isn't strong enough to withstand it
  • Depending on the type, can be slick to work on
  • Needs installers familiar with metal roofing
  • Complex roof designs increase labor time and expense
  • In some materials, temperature fluctuations may cause a mild popping sound that may be bothersome to some people

Common Types

The two most common types of sheet metal are lap joints and standing seam. Sheet metal also comes in "shingles"
that can be formed to look like wood shakes, clay tiles, or other designs.

The standing seam type is often seen on commercial buildings. Our local YMCA has a gorgeous standing seam roof. They are attached with clips, and are very nice-looking. They are becoming more popular on front porches.

metal roofing,standing seam metal roofing,lap joint Lap-joint is less expensive because it is not as heavy as the standing seam, and installation is somewhat easier.

Lap joint cost can give composition shingles a "run for their money!" The material cost is comparable to fiberglass shingles. If you choose wood 2x4 purlins as opposed to OSB or plywood under layment, you can save more money.

Be sure to factor in life expectancy as well. Warranty times vary, but many have a guaranteed long life, plus the feature of environmental friendliness.

That makes sheet metal a green roofing product that's here
to stay.

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